This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Perceived Barriers Affecting the Implementation of Forestry/Natural Resources Curriculum in Georgia




Ray, Brandon

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Curriculum and Teaching


There are fewer forestry/natural resources pathway classes being taught in Georgia high schools than any of the other main areas (Georgia Agriculture Education, 2019). Georgia high school agriculture pathways are a series of three interrelated courses designed at giving high school students specific skills and expertise in a designated area. The purpose of this study was to determine teacher perception of forestry/natural resources curriculum in an effort to investigate internal barriers that teachers may be experiencing when implementing those concepts. The participants of this study were high school agriculture teachers across the state of Georgia (N = 358) that represent various demographical regions, economies, and socioeconomic status. This descriptive and correlational study utilized a quantitative non-experimental survey research design. All Georgia agricultural education teachers with more than one year of experience were surveyed and a total of 173 (n = 173) responses were analyzed. The findings of the study yielded descriptive data that reveal particular weaknesses in the importance and competence of forestry/natural resources curriculum. There were a significant number of teachers that did not teach a forestry/natural resource pathway. Teacher importance and competence of forestry/natural resources concepts was analyzed and ranked. The data further shows the discrepancy of perceived teacher importance and perceived teacher competence through Mean Weighted Discrepancy Scores (MWDS). MWDS were used to rank forestry/natural resources concepts in an effort to identify training needs of teachers within Georgia. Teachers with fewer years of experience had the greatest need for training in Forestry/Natural Resources concepts. Teachers with no personal experiences in forestry, natural resources, and/or wildlife management also had a significant need for training within those concepts. The findings within this study indicated a number of concepts within forestry/natural resources which could be addressed through class opportunities at respective universities. It was recommended that universities and state staff find different avenues to market the core subjects within agriculture education in order to draw potential students into the profession. It was also recommended that partnerships to industry professionals are vital in order to build knowledge in the area of forestry and natural resources. Teachers should seek to bring those individuals into their classroom to promote careers within forestry/natural resources.